When I was in high school, one of the first things I ever heard from George Carlin was a clip called "Join the Book Club," a rapid-fire list of fake books (like this post's title) that left me flat on the floor, heaving for breath. I'm including it here because it still reminds me of one of the first times I really laughed HARD, and that I don't read enough.
I read more often in New York, where I had a book club. There was a pretty even mix of men and women, we actually talked about the book for most of the time, and we ate well. It was really fun. I haven't found one in Ann Arbor yet, and even if I do, it won't be the same. Because they won't be my friends. My friends friends, whom I talk with and Skype with and miss a lot of the time.
I also have this other group of friends, the friends I met in Bloggerworld, whom I see only a couple times a year at conferences, who are funny and smart and rock the mic in a karaoke bar. I spend a lot of time missing them, too.
That's why I have this new Copia reading app for my [eponymous tablet reader that has a fruit on the back]. I get a new book club, and it's with my Internet friends whom I want to interact with more often.
I first heard about this social e-reader at Mom 2.0 in Key Biscayne, when my buddy Jim said Copia was looking to wrangle up some parent bloggers to give it a test-read. (This is one reason to attend conferences: You hear about cool gigs like this one.) Social reading sounded like an OK innovation, because co-enjoying things is fun. (This is why people live-tweet the Oscars.) But I wasn't totally sold at first, because reading is a solitary activity, and I like to process what I read and make the little pictures in my own head before someone tries to tell me what to think. (This is why all media criticism sucks.) Overall, though, I saw an opportunity to rejuvenate my reading habits, hang out with Jim, Shannon, and Tanis, and get paid for it.
So I said, "Yes. I would like to do that."
First, we'll be reading Michael Chabon's "Telegraph Avenue," which is so transcendently wonderful that I want to give up writing forever. And since we'll be reading it together, we'll be leaving comments in the margins for each other. This will be especially fun because Jim is allergic to fiction, Shannon is hyperbolically opinionated, and Tanis is completely illiterate. (She writes her blog phonetically! True story!)
So, here's the deal: If you'd like to join our book club, here's what you do:
- Sign up for a free account with Copia, either through the e-reader app or just in a browser.
- Join up with the Copia Parents Book Club (and/or our own little crew, "Tanis, Doug, Jim, and Shannon Do Books").
- Get your copy of "Telegraph Avenue."
- Tell me you agree that Chabon is always money, or that I'm full of shit.
And here's the best part: if you leave a comment on this post and let me know either 1) your favorite book of all-time, or 2) the next book you're about to read by Friday, Oct 5, at 11:59pm Eastern, 10 commenters chosen at random will receive ANY BOOK THEY WANT through Copia!
(Assuming, of course, that Copia has it. If you're looking for "Backpacking for Shut-Ins," for example, you might want to have a Plan B.)